For the first time in several years, the Minnesota Zoo is planning to raise its general admission prices, some time between January and March, zoo officials said Wednesday.

Admission for adults will go up by $1.95, pushing the price from $18 to $19.95. Membership prices will also go up, with the amount depending on the type of membership.

Current membership prices range from $59 for an individual to $159 for household-plus or grandparents-plus memberships, with free parking.

“We haven’t raised our admission since 2011 or membership since 2016, yet in that time we really have continuously created new ways to connect people and animals and the natural world,” said zoo CEO Abigail Mosher.

Erin Adler

Brooklyn Park

Fire department will switch to full-time

The Brooklyn Park Fire Department is looking to dissolve its paid on-call program and recruit eight full-time firefighters because of a shortage of volunteers.

Chief John Cunningham said 11 of the 21 volunteers in the on-call program will become part-time firefighters and that program funds will help pay for the full-time jobs.

The department responds to more than 9,000 calls each year, straining operations. Cunningham, who is also president of the State Fire Chiefs Association, called the lack of volunteers a statewide crisis.

Three of Brooklyn Park’s four fire stations are staffed 24/7. The east station now will be staffed at all hours, and starting next year every shift will include at least eight firefighters and a battalion chief.

KIM HYATT

Roseville

City seeking $5M in bonding for oval

Roseville leaders are asking Minnesota lawmakers to approve the city’s $5 million state bonding request to make critical repairs at the Guidant John Rose Minnesota Oval, the largest continuous outdoor sheet of refrigerated ice in North America.

Several members of the House Capital Investment Committee toured the oval on Wednesday, some even lacing up skates and taking a lap.

The city last December commissioned an assessment report that called for replacing much of the refrigeration plant and brine pumping systems and repairing the concrete refrigeration rink. The oval opened in 1993 and has become a training and competition center for amateur and professional athletes.

Shannon Prather

BLOOMINGTON

Sutter honored for work with refuge

Steve Sutter, who started a friends’ group in 2006 to support the work of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, was honored last month by the city of Bloomington for his volunteer work.

Mayor Gene Winstead proclaimed Oct. 8 Steve Sutter Day and presented Sutter with the proclamation at a City Council meeting, citing Sutter’s thousands of hours spent promoting and protecting the refuge. The Minnesota Valley Refuge Friends last year gave free trips to the refuge to 10,000 students.

Sutter, a former Richfield assistant fire chief, stepped down Sept. 30 as secretary of the friends’ group board but will continue to serve as a board member and adviser.

The refuge, he said, is “a wonderful place and it’s nature right in your backyard.”

KEVIN DUCHSCHERE